By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco
LAOAG CITY, July 18 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) rolled out free medical assistance and operation through launching a surgical caravan in Ilocos Norte.
Highlighting the theme, “To DOH Alaga, May TSekAP na, May Operasyon pa,” the new health program vows to help underprivileged patients in their surgical operations and health needs for free.
During the said caravan, the DOH conducted free check-ups and excellent operation among the 244 screened by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
True to its mandate of giving importance to the less privileged patients, the “To DOH Alaga” aims to give equal care and assistance especially to the people who are unable to look after their health.
On one hand, the “May TSekAP Na” or the “Tamang Serbisyong kalusugang Kapamilya” service, provides immediate check-up on the sickness of the patients, and to look for symptoms of impending disease.
Moreover, the “May Operasyon pa” is a free operation service especially for patients detected with thyroid problems, cataract, and other sicknesses.
“This is free for the poor. As mandated by President Duterte, we have to take care of the poor. From the time they were screened to the time they are operated on, no single cent from the patient will be collected. It’s all charged to PhilHealth and various funds of DOH,” Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, regional director of DOH Region 1, said.
Moreover, assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchair, and eyeglass were given to health units for the patients to use.
Although a pre-screening is done before the caravan, Cabotaje said hospitals can entertain emergency cases and charge patients without fee.
“We cannot entertain walk-ins but in times of emergency, we can welcome them and charge them for free,” she added. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)